How NOT to select players with the question mark rank?

Yep, my suggestion is simpler, I can’t follow the programming and math stuff :woman_shrugging:t2:

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Oh, I wasn’t implying your proposal was inferior, I think its simplicity even makes it preferable so that it can be implemented quickly. (Well, hopefully?)

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I didn’t think you implied anything, I meant I agree with the suggestions and I gravitate towards a similar system but I can’t express it accurately.

Written communication sometimes is 2 suggestions and 8 explanations to make things clearer :sweat_smile:


It’ll affect the opponent’s rank however. If a 6kyu resigns against a new player, the system thinks this player must be stronger or as strong as a 6kyu, and so on.

I don’t recommend that you just resign against [?] ranked players, unless you ask a moderator to annul the game. It’ll take much longer for newer players to get to their actual rating with wrong results.

They do actually get matched up with other [?] mark players intially as mentioned here

but it’s just giving them another game in the rating range when there’s not another [?] mark available I believe.

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You know, this sounded like a good idea, but then I checked OP’s profile and it looks like they pretty much exclusively play automatch games :laughing:
So when they get matched against [?] players it should mean there weren’t other [?] players around for the automatch system to pick, as explained in the quote @shinuito brought up.

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Hi. As a complete beginner to the game and not knowing the etiqutte of such things or even being able to identify 100% of the time when a game is lost. I would be more than open to havingt my opponent tell me that it is time to quit and move on.

Obviously saying something like “you lost, please forfeit” isn’t going to cut it but if those of you more experienced would take the time to explain why the game is done and that it is best to metaphorically shake hands and move on then I’m sure a lot of new players would be grateful and benefit from it.


I appreciate the sentiment :slight_smile:

One issue is that telling the opponent that the game is lost is considered rude (I think because it can be a form of pressuring), so usually the only players that do it are the ones that don’t care at all about etiquette, and they usually say stuff like “my dude you lost the game, stop playing”.

So sadly because of the etiquette I guess the burden is on the beginner to say “please tell me if I should resign” at some point. I’m not saying I think it’s good that things are like this, but it’s complicated :frowning:

Many, if not most, cases of beginners stalling by playing useless self-atari moves and obviously hopeless “invasions” are due to the beginner thinking that forcing the opponent to play a move in his own territory in this manner is a reduction. Ironically, they often succeed with other beginners, who commonly capture dead stones, thereby reducing their score under Japanese rules. (The defenders capture because they don’t realize that they get the “capture” point and the territory point even if they don’t capture.) Therefore, the best way to address this problem would be by better education, I think, perhaps by strongly emphasizing the folly of these actions in OGS how-to-play materials.

I do it sometimes. But sometimes the other player doesn’t react and continues to put stones wherever possible.

If you really want to you can avoid [?] players with tournaments. The automatic sitewide tournaments exclude them, for example.

If you really want, you can just cancel, but new users may dislike OGS after that
So, better solution is to implement “provisional players can’t accept your challenges” somewhere deep in settings
slightly slower process of getting rank looks better than when everyone cancels you

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I think the easiest would be a simple question on sign up and then pick a starting rank correspondingly.

How experienced are you at Go?
( ) I barely know the rules
( ) I have already played more than 10 games in my life
( ) I have a rough idea of my rank [enter here]

That way “?” players could be matched with roughly “adequate” opponents. A novice player won’t be facing a 5k in his first game, and when Ke Jie signs up to OGS he won’t have to butcher a bunch of kyus at the beginning.


That was the process when I joined in 2016. It was changed soon after, because too many people had picked their rank wrongly and the mods were overwhelmed by requests to adjust people’s ranks.

Don’t allow any manual re-adjustments then (as is the case now).
I mean, currently almost everyone get’s their rank “picked wrongly” (but Glicko corrects that relatively quickly).


I highly support this, and would only add a maximum rank that you can select. For example 1 kyu and dan players have to play up to dan ranks from there.


The best way to address this problem would be to get rid of Japanese rules. :stuck_out_tongue:


Well, I guess it’s time to quote this:

I was waiting all day to do this :laughing:

 This is the reason I’m annoyed that the “self-identification thing” was never tried out since 2017. Essentially Glicko mostly solves that problem, most likely (of having moderators forced to manually correct ranks), but ever since Glicko has been here, self-identification has never been allowed.
 So we can’t know how bad it would get because it’s never been tried, but there are good reasons to believe it wouldn’t be anywhere nearly as bad as pre-2017 OGS.

Though to be fair these 5 years have been good to partially clean OGS’s reputation of being sandbagger hell.

 By the way, to be clear, you don’t even need to do anything to the rating system per se. The initial hidden rank can be 6 kyu as much as you want: as soon as a provisional player loses a game against a TPK, their rank estimate will plummet down there, so you just need to match beginners against weak players for the first few games.
 Same for dan players, as soon as they win a game against a high SDK or a dan, their rank will jump up. If the self-identified dan rank was wrong, they will lose against the strong players, and their rank will stay near 6 kyu and uncertain, and Glicko will work its “magic”.

 This does allow for intentional sandbaggers to intentionally lose the first few games, though, but then again they can do that with the current system too.
If you’re worried, you can just implement the new system gradually, to see how many self-identified newcomers we can handle.

 First, you keep handling most newcomers with the current system and you only offer the quick questionnaire to a few randomly selected newcomers, say 10 every day.
 Then you gradually increase the number of self-identified newcomers until either problems start to arise or you’re handling all newcomers that way, which means you’ve proven that the self-identifying system doesn’t cause problems after all.

If  there are problems, we may start to consider something like the “beginner supervised games” system that I described here, or an improved version of it, or a completely different proposal. But that comes after verifying that there are problems.

There's one last kink to maybe worry about, though not critical:

 To avoid annoying players of a specific rank in the established OGS population with provisional players, like OP here was complaining about, just implement a more “fuzzy” matchmaking system: instead of allowing players to select a specific rank to start from, only allow them ranges, and either assign them a randomly selected rating from the range for matchmaking purposes, or just matchmake them with the whole range and match them with the first player that pops up.

 That way, there’s no specific rank being forced to handle all the newcomers, like the 12 kyu players are in the current system.

 Just to be clear, I believe that implementing the self-identifying proposal would require fiddling with the matchmaking system anyway, at least if implemented the way I proposed above, so I think this would not be that much more work.

Well, at some point I’d like to hear what the devs think about this assortment of ideas, but I never know when it’s a good time to ping them and ask them directly. For now, at the very least I can wait to see if somebody can (or is willing to) offer good counter-arguments here, though most people never read my long replies :laughing:


I have no such qualms! @anoek :wink:


I select games by hand, so I know what opponent is before game start. And you can cancel a game if u don’t like low kyu players. At last, I hear it that there are not many high dan players at OGS, so if u are a high dan, u have to play with bots.

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Well, since we’re pinging, @anoek, I’d like to bring your attention to what I think are the easiest and quickest things you can do to slightly improve the beginners’ experience on OGS, before jumping into more complicated fixes and new systems:

If you’re not aware, there’s a bug where the true 6 kyu provisional rank is displayed in game thumbnails instead of a [?].

Also, it doesn’t make sense that the provisional rank estimate is shown in the profile, not only because it’s initially a meaningless number, but mostly because players who don’t understand the ins and outs of the rating system can often get confused by it – as evidenced by

this, from the same thread.

This is what the rating area looks like for a brand new player:
and this is what the graph looks like after the first ranked game:

In both cases you can see the humble rank, which for provisional players is almost as meaningless as the true rank, and just as much confusing and misleading to the untrained eye.

So I believe the second thing you should fix is hide the humble rank from the profile page (and I mean both from the number table area and the graph, remove the line in the provisional period). I do also have other ideas on how to make the graph more readable and meaningful, but for now just hiding the line would be good I think.

And for the third thing, although maybe this is actually the most important thing, you should probably remove the 9-rank restriction, at least for provisional players. That restriction often causes confusion, and is also implemented in kind of a weird way, since it follows the true rank instead of the humble rank.

I’m sorry that I can’t help with the code, I would if I could :frowning:

Thank you :slight_smile: